How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near West End Cobb Town Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near West End Cobb Town AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, many prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby 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 comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point 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 screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in West End Cobb Town AL labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, including West End Cobb Town AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most West End Cobb Town AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out 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-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many West End Cobb Town AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 campus is relevant if you will be commuting from West End Cobb Town AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the West End Cobb Town AL job market.
What is the School'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 check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with a few West End Cobb Town AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local West End Cobb Town AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the West End Cobb Town AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near West End Cobb Town AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
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 facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Choose the Best West End Cobb Town Phlebotomy Program
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in West End Cobb Town Alabama.