How to Enroll in the Right One Near Alabaster Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Alabaster AL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. There are many 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 necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. More often than not the two qualifications that first are considered by prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. And if you will commute to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. Online courses will be discussed in more detail a bit later. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be included in your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover education options, licensing and certification, and online training.
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Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, a number of Alabaster AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Alabaster AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 school is significant if you will be commuting from Alabaster AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school 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 examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree 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 phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Alabaster AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Alabaster AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Alabaster AL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Alabaster AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Alabaster Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Alabaster Alabama.