Choosing a Phlebotomist Training Program near Birmingham Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Birmingham AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, many students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of Birmingham AL phlebotomists in fact work in laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly 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 are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Birmingham AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind 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 practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training in Birmingham AL, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of employers require certification before 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 Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved Birmingham AL healthcare facility or an on-campus lab|an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility}. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the Alabama college is important as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the Birmingham AL schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected 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 program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs in Birmingham AL. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact several Birmingham AL area clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alabama regulator or the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any Birmingham AL phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the Alabama colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Birmingham AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Birmingham AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to confirm that the final program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. 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 Birmingham AL, check that they are available 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 certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?When getting ready to interview for a Phlebotomy Technician job, it's important to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask Phlebotomist prospects is "What drove you to decide on Phlebotomy as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for being Phlebotomist, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to Phlebotomy, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you must prepare some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent Phlebotomist and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Select the Ideal Phlebotomy Course near Birmingham AL
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Birmingham AL.
Learn About Birmingham Alabama
Birmingham (/ˈbɜːrmɪŋhæm/ BUR-ming-ham) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Alabama and the county seat of Jefferson County. The city's population was 212,237 in the 2010 United States Census. In the 2010 US Census, the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of about 1,128,047, which is approximately one-quarter of Alabama's population.
Birmingham was founded in 1871, during the post-Civil War Reconstruction period, through the merger of three pre-existing farm towns, notably, former Elyton. It was named for Birmingham, England, the UK's second largest city and then major industrial city. The Alabama city annexed smaller neighbors and developed as an industrial and railroad transportation center, based on mining, the new iron and steel industry, and railroading. 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 be employed in the city's steel mills and blast furnaces, giving it a competitive advantage over unionized industrial cities in the Midwest and Northeast.
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 both manufactured in Birmingham: since the 1860s, the two primary hubs of railroading in the "Deep South" have been nearby Atlanta and Birmingham. 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 United States and as one of the most important business centers in the Southeast.
In higher education, Birmingham has been the location of the University of Alabama School of Medicine (formerly the Medical College of Alabama) and the University of Alabama School of Dentistry since 1947. In 1969 it gained the University of Alabama at Birmingham, one of three main campuses of the University of Alabama System. It is home to three private institutions: Samford University, Birmingham-Southern College, and Miles College. In total, the Birmingham area has major colleges of medicine, dentistry, optometry, physical therapy, pharmacy, law, engineering, and nursing. The city has three of the state's five law schools: Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham School of Law, and Miles Law School. Birmingham is also the headquarters of the Southwestern Athletic Conference and the Southeastern Conference, one of the major U.S. collegiate athletic conferences.
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