Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Find the Right One Near Alabaster Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Alabaster AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. More often than not the two qualifications that first are considered by prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Alabaster AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected 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 profession for you.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, many Alabaster AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part 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. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Alabaster AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
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 chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Alabaster AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select 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 aside from a guarantee of a quality 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. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, 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 Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Alabaster AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient 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 considering should furnish no less than 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 comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Alabaster AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Alabaster AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Alabaster AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Alabaster Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed 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 offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Alabaster Alabama.