How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Cullman Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Cullman AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Cullman AL laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, including Cullman AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Cullman AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for many Cullman AL students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Cullman AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select 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 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 take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Cullman AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with several Cullman AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Cullman AL health care 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 colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Cullman AL medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly 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 certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Cullman AL medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care 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 compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Choose the Best Cullman Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Cullman Alabama.