How to Find the Best One Near Cullman Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Cullman AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Whether you will drive to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be included in your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Cullman AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Cullman AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Cullman AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Cullman AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Cullman AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Cullman AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Cullman AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Cullman AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Cullman AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And 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 protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Cullman Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Cullman Alabama.