Choosing a Phlebotomist School near Cottonwood Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Cottonwood AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to researching phlebotomist training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are researching to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has 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 point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Cottonwood AL area laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Cottonwood AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at Cottonwood AL community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Cottonwood AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
First, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Cottonwood AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in 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 approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the Cottonwood AL colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, 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 requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable 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 quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Cottonwood AL job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal 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 investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with several Cottonwood AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, 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. As 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 clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the Cottonwood AL training program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with Cottonwood AL health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Cottonwood health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Cottonwood AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to verify that the final school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Cottonwood AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Cottonwood AL?
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.
There were 485 households out of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.2% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.2% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.01.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist College near Cottonwood AL
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Cottonwood AL.
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