How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near West End Cobb Town Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomist training near West End Cobb Town AL is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. 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 best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in West End Cobb Town AL labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including West End Cobb Town AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based 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 elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working 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 Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively 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 accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many West End Cobb Town AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some West End Cobb Town AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, 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 mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from West End Cobb Town AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the West End Cobb Town AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several West End Cobb Town AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local West End Cobb Town AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the West End Cobb Town AL health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near West End Cobb Town AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other West End Cobb Town AL medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are 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 will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and 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 perfect job for you.
Pick the Best West End Cobb Town Phlebotomy Course
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in West End Cobb Town Alabama.