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How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near West End Cobb Town Alabama

West End Cobb Town Alabama phlebotomist drawing blood from man's armPicking the ideal phlebotomy training near West End Cobb Town AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.

Phlebotomy Tech Job Description

West End Cobb Town Alabama phlebotomy tech examining blood samplesA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in West End Cobb Town AL labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as West End Cobb Town AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification

West End Cobb Town Alabama phlebotomist testing a blood sampleThere are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of West End Cobb Town AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations 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 phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomist Colleges

blood sample in test tube West End Cobb Town AlabamaTo start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some West End Cobb Town AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend 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 West End Cobb Town AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state 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 very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the West End Cobb Town AL job market.

What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few West End Cobb Town AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local West End Cobb Town AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the West End Cobb Town AL medical community.

Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near West End Cobb Town AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Find Out More About West End Cobb Town Phlebotomy Training

Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?

Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other West End Cobb Town AL medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. 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 can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.

Choose the Best West End Cobb Town Phlebotomist Training

Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in West End Cobb Town Alabama.


 

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