How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Cullman Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Cullman AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important 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 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 conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Cullman AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Cullman AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Cullman AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get 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 approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Cullman AL students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Cullman AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All 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 making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Cullman AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer 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 also contact several Cullman AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Cullman AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Cullman AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Cullman AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain 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 due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Cullman AL medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Best Cullman Phlebotomy Program
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Cullman Alabama.