How to Find the Right One Near Alabaster Alabama
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the fulfilling healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy training near Alabaster AL. 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. However, to ensure that you receive a first-rate education you must complete your due diligence before making your selection. More often than not the two requirements that first come to mind for prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. Online courses will be covered in greater detail a bit later. So when comparing phlebotomy training programs, cost and location shouldn’t be the only criteria you are looking at. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Alabaster AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Alabaster AL employers require certification prior to 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 several 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 imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Alabaster AL students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Alabaster AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Alabaster AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact some Alabaster AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Alabaster AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Alabaster AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Alabaster AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Alabaster Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist 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 range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Alabaster Alabama.