Selecting a Phlebotomy Training Course near Shelby Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Shelby AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating 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 provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Shelby AL area labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Shelby AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at Shelby AL junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Shelby 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let’s resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Shelby AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the Shelby AL colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomy 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 be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Shelby AL job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools 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 agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Shelby AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer 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 schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At 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 lower than these minimums may signify that the Shelby AL training program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with Shelby AL healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Shelby health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Shelby AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to verify that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Shelby AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. 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 policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Shelby AL?
Shelby County, Alabama
Shelby County is a county 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.
With the advent of the automobile and the truck, Shelby County was soon crossed from north to south by U.S. Highway 31, the major one that followed the same route as the Louisville and Nashville Railroad did. (All U.S. Highways, with "one" as their last of two digits are major north-south ones: e.g. U.S. 11, 21, 31, 41, 51, 61, and 71.) The eastern part of Shelby County was later crossed by U.S. Highway 231 and U.S. 280
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Course near Shelby AL
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Shelby AL.
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