How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Cottondale Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Cottondale AL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much 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 need to be part of your selection 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 evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Cottondale AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Cottondale AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. 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. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Cottondale AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key certifying agencies 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, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Cottondale AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Cottondale AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Cottondale AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Cottondale AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask 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 submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Cottondale AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Cottondale AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Cottondale AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need 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 blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Cottondale AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Cottondale Phlebotomist Program
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Cottondale Alabama.