Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Pick the Right One Near Alabaster Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Alabaster AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. There are a number of training programs available to you and it might seem like a daunting task to investigate and analyze each one. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. More often than not the two requirements that initially come to mind for student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. And if you will commute to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. Online schools will be discussed in more 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Alabaster AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Alabaster AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed 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 part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Alabaster AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Alabaster AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages 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 take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Alabaster AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate 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 research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Alabaster AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer 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 schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Alabaster AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help 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 considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Alabaster AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alabaster AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Alabaster Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Alabaster Alabama.