How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Cottonwood AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply 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 before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Cottonwood AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Cottonwood AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, 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 drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, many Cottonwood AL employers require certification prior to 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To begin with, let’s resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Cottonwood AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Cottonwood AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Cottonwood AL job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some Cottonwood AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final 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 Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 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 offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Cottonwood AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Cottonwood AL medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the final program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Cottonwood 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. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled 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.
Phlebotomy Classes Cottonwood Alabama
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program before making your final selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Classes and to get more information regarding Schools That Offer Phlebotomy Certification. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Cottonwood AL.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alabama
Cottonwood is a town in Houston County, Alabama, United States. One source said the town incorporated in 1901, although the 1910 U.S. Census stated 1903. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census the population was 1,289, up from 1,170 in 2000.
Cottonwood is located in southern Houston County at 31°3′13″N 85°18′9″W / 31.05361°N 85.30250°W / 31.05361; -85.30250 (31.053646, -85.302409).Alabama State Route 53 passes through the center of town, leading north 14 miles (23 km) to Dothan and southeast 7 miles (11 km) to the Florida state line. Malone, Florida, is 11 miles (18 km) southeast of Cottonwood.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,170 people, 485 households, and 323 families residing in the town. The population density was 212.9 people per square mile (82.1/km2). There were 548 housing units at an average density of 99.7 per square mile (38.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 69.06% White, 29.06% Black or African American, 0.68% Native American, and 1.20% from two or more races. 1.97% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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