How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Cottondale Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Cottondale AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit 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 factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Cottondale AL laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Cottondale AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Cottondale AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies 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 potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many 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 might be a more practical alternative for many Cottondale AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Cottondale AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Cottondale AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out 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 research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Cottondale AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact 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, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Cottondale AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Cottondale AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Cottondale AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Cottondale AL medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample 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 blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Cottondale Phlebotomist Course
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Cottondale Alabama.