Selecting a Phlebotomist Training Program Cottonwood Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Cottonwood AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it’s vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, most students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet 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 classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. 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 choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Cottonwood AL area laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their Alabama work places are numerous and varied, including Cottonwood hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at Cottonwood area community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Alabama employers look for certification before employing 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take in Alabama or where you will be practicing.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To begin with, let’s resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many Cottonwood students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the Alabamaprograms you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential Cottonwood employers in the job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In many 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 imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. 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 research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Cottonwood area clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the Alabama programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Cottonwood medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer 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 Cottonwood area health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it’s critical to confirm that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accomodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Cottonwood, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist School Cottonwood ALMaking certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist.