Selecting a Phlebotomist Training Program near Pleasant Grove Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Pleasant Grove AL is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it’s important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomist training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Pleasant Grove AL area labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, such as Pleasant Grove AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at Pleasant Grove AL junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Pleasant Grove AL employers require 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
First, let’s resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many Pleasant Grove AL students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the Pleasant Grove AL programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing 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 working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program 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 several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Pleasant Grove AL job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Pleasant Grove AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final 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 Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the Pleasant Grove AL training program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with Pleasant Grove AL medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Pleasant Grove healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Pleasant Grove AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it’s important to verify that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pleasant Grove AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Pleasant Grove AL?
Pleasant Grove, Alabama
It was established in 1889, but incorporated as a city in January 1937. The incorporation came about by reason of a rather unusual circumstance. The town sits on land honeycombed by coal mines. For many years the residents had relied on water wells for their water supply. As years passed and more mining was done, Pleasant Grove found itself confronted with a problem. Residents would sometimes go to their well to draw water only to find there was none. The water had gone into the mines.
During the mid to late 30s, the Federal Government had a program for financing the building of local water systems. In exploring the possibility of securing such funds, it was revealed that in order to secure such financing a community must be legally incorporated. At this time the incorporation became a reality.
The first appointed Mayor of Pleasant Grove was W.P. Stone. The city is governed by a mayor and five council members who serve four-year terms. Elections for city officials is held during the summer of each leap year with four-year terms beginning the first Monday in October. The area known as Pleasant Grove, Alabama was first homesteaded in September 1836. Pleasant Grove is in Jefferson County. Although no one seems to know when or exactly how the town came by its name, old documents indicate that at least part of this area was called Pleasant Grove as early as 1884. Pleasant Grove was made up of four communities which included Frog Pond, Lizard Ridge, Cottage Hill, and Pleasant Grove.
The city is governed by a mayor, currently Jerry Brasseale, and five-member council. All city officials are elected to four-year terms on leap years. The council meets the first and third Monday of each month at Pleasant Grove City Hall. Council members as of the 2008 election are James Mosely, William Bullion, Terrie Hicks, Philip Houston and Paula Johnson.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist College near Pleasant Grove AL
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Pleasant Grove AL.
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