Choosing a Phlebotomy Technician School near Sheffield Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Sheffield AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, many prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online 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 much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Sheffield AL area labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, including Sheffield AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at Sheffield AL community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, a number of Sheffield AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
- American Medical Technologists (AMT).
There are some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion 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-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Sheffield AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the Sheffield AL colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills 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 school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Sheffield AL job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact several Sheffield AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount 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 (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the Sheffield AL training program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with Sheffield AL healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Sheffield healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Sheffield AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to confirm that the final school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sheffield AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Sheffield AL?
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.
Sheffield was the home of Muscle Shoals Sound Studios at 3614 Jackson Highway and later at 1000 Alabama Avenue. Cher, The Rolling Stones, The Osmonds, Aretha Franklin, Bob Seger, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Simon & Garfunkel, The Staple Singers and many others recorded the biggest hits of their careers in this small studio, that remains well known and respected throughout the music industry.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist College near Sheffield AL
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Sheffield AL.
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