How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Sheffield Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Sheffield AL is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision 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 ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Sheffield AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time 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 can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Sheffield AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Sheffield AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing 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 Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Sheffield AL employers require certification prior to employing 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 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 important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let’s resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Sheffield AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you select 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 superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
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 want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Sheffield AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Sheffield AL job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Sheffield AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 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 provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Sheffield AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Sheffield AL health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to verify that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sheffield AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Compare Phlebotomy Technician Schools Sheffield Alabama
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college before making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Compare Phlebotomy Technician Schools and to get more information regarding How to Enroll in Drawing Blood Courses. However, by addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sheffield AL.
More Alabama Bloody Wonderful Locations
Sheffield is a city in Colbert County, Alabama, United States, and is included in the Shoals metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 9,039. Sheffield is the birthplace of "country-soul pioneer" and songwriter Arthur Alexander, French horn player Willie Ruff, notable attorney, actor, former senator and presidential contender Fred Thompson, Watergate committee U.S. Senator Howell Heflin and U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, whose father was working in nearby Athens when he was born. It sometimes is referred to as "the City of Senators" due to the births of Heflin, McConnell and Thompson within its borders. Col. Harland Sanders worked in the Sheffield depot for Southern Railway in the 1900s. It is also home to the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio where many popular 20th century musicians recorded their work, including Alexander and Ruff. It is the site of historic Helen Keller Hospital, formerly known as Colbert County Hospital and originally constructed in 1921. It was changed to Helen Keller Hospital in 1979, and Keller's birthplace Ivy Green is located less than one mile southwest of the hospital in adjacent Tuscumbia.
Sheffield is located in eastern Colbert County at 34°45′35″N 87°41′41″W / 34.75972°N 87.69472°W / 34.75972; -87.69472 (34.759721, -87.694592), on the south bank of the Tennessee River. Sheffield is bordered to the south by the city of Tuscumbia, to the southeast by Muscle Shoals, and to the north, across the river, by Florence.
Sheffield was one of the Colbert County sites of embarkation by riverboat and barge on the Tennessee River during the forced relocation of Eastern and Southern United States Indian tribes, known as the Trail of Tears. The embarkation site was at what is now the Spring Creek boat launch and park area.