Picking a Phlebotomy Training Program near Normal Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Normal AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need 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 variables including accreditation and reputation 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 should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to 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. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some Normal AL phlebotomists in fact work in laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Normal AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training in Normal AL, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let’s resolve one possible mistaken belief. 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 approved Normal AL healthcare facility or an on-campus lab|an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility}. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the Alabama school is significant as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the Normal AL schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional 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 an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools in Normal AL. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Normal AL local hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alabama regulator or the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any Normal AL phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the Alabama schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Normal AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Normal AL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s crucial to verify that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Normal AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?When getting ready to interview for a Phlebotomy Tech job, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask Phlebotomy Technician candidates is "What compelled you to pick Phlebotomy as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for being Phlebotomy Tech, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to Phlebotomy, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an outstanding Phlebotomy Technician and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Choose the Ideal Phlebotomist Course near Normal AL
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Normal AL.
Learn About Normal Alabama
Normal, Alabama is the site of Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University (AAMU). The university is situated in the city limits and northern part of Huntsville, Alabama, USA in Madison County.
Normal was established in 1890, when AAMU was then known as "State Normal and Industrial School of Huntsville". It was also designated a land grant college of Alabama. At that time student enrollment was 300 with 11 teachers. That same year, a United States Post Office was established there. Normal's ZIP Code is 35762. Students were called "Normalites".
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