How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Helena Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Helena AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it’s vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will provide more details later. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Helena AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights 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 right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Helena AL labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Helena AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned 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 instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, 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 each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Helena AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let’s dispel one potential misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Helena AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Helena AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. 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 practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected 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 aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Helena AL job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of all colleges 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 also. You can also talk to a few Helena AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. 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 colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Helena AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Helena AL medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s crucial to make sure that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Helena AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Free Info on Phlebotomist Courses Near Me Helena Alabama
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each school before making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Free Info on Phlebotomist Courses Near Me and to get more information regarding Compare Drawing Blood Schools. However, by asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Helena AL.
More Alabama Bloody Wonderful Locations
Helena (pronunciation hel-LE-nah) is a city in Jefferson and Shelby counties in the state of Alabama. Helena is considered a suburb of Birmingham and part of the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 16,793.
Helena is highly regarded as a place to live and raise children; Business Week ranked the city as the 13th "Best Place to Raise Your Kids" in 2007. It has the eighth-lowest crime rate per population in the U.S., and the city was ranked in Money magazine's 2007 list of "Best Places to Live: Top 100" in the U.S., placing at number 91. The Alabama League of Municipalities awarded Helena the 2008 Municipal Achievement Award (population 10,001 to 20,000).
Helena initially incorporated in 1877, but reincorporated in 1917 after errors were discovered in the initial incorporation papers. Its population was not recorded separately in the U.S. Census until 1920, reflecting the later date of incorporation.
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