How to Find the Right One Near Cullman Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomist school near Cullman AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. There are many training programs that are offered in your area and it can seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each one. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you receive a top-notch education you must complete a detailed audit prior to making your selection. In fact, most potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. Online classes will be covered in greater detail a bit later. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be included in your due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to 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 training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Cullman AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Cullman AL employers require 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Cullman AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Cullman AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Cullman AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools 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 assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Cullman AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. 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 schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the 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 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 less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Cullman AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Cullman AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Cullman AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Cullman Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Cullman Alabama.