How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Shelby Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Shelby AL is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, most students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another 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’s important 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 including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating 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 continue our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Shelby AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Shelby AL laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Shelby AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Shelby AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
First, let’s resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Shelby AL students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Shelby AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Shelby AL job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. 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 ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Shelby AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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 phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Shelby AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Shelby AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Shelby AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Compare Phlebotomy Technician Colleges Shelby Alabama
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Compare Phlebotomy Technician Colleges and to get more information regarding How to Enroll in Drawing Blood Programs. However, by addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Shelby AL.
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Shelby County, Alabama
Shelby County is a county located in the central portion of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census the population was 195,085. The county seat is Columbiana. The county is named in honor of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky from 1792 to 1796 and again from 1812 to 1816.
Shelby County was established on February 7, 1818, and it was named for the Revolutionary War hero and the first Governor of Kentucky, Isaac Shelby. Beginning in 1820, the first county seat was located at Shelbyville. This settlement, long defunct, was located within the modern city limits of Pelham. The first courthouse was built of logs. The seat was moved to Columbia, now Columbiana, in 1826. Initially housed in an old school building, a new brick courthouse building was completed in 1854. It is now known as the Old Shelby County Courthouse and houses the Shelby County Museum and Archives. The current limestone courthouse was built from 1905–06, at a cost of $300,000.
Shelby County was the home of an early inland waterway, the Coosa River, and it was also the location of a very early east-west railroad in Alabama that connected Atlanta, Georgia, with locations to its west. Shelby County was also crossed by an early north-south railroad, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, that connected Louisville, Nashville, Decatur, Birmingham, and Montgomery.
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