Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Find the Right One Near Alabaster Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Alabaster AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. There are a number of training options that are offered in your area and it can seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each one. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. Quite often the two requirements that initially are considered by prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Whether you will commute to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomy training courses, location and cost shouldn’t be the only parameters you are looking at. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover education options, licensing and certification, and online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible 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 get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Alabaster AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Alabaster AL students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Alabaster AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Alabaster AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Alabaster AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Alabaster AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide 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 a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Alabaster AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Alabaster AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Alabaster Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Alabaster Alabama.