How to Pick the Best One Near Albertville Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Albertville AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training options available to you and it can seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each one. However, to ensure that you will get a first-rate education you must complete a detailed audit before making your decision. 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 an area campus. We'll discuss 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 cheapest or the closest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be part of your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Albertville AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably 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 could be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, many Albertville AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary 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 phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Albertville AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Albertville AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
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 some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable 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 aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Albertville AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. 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 place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Albertville AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested 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 ask if any grievances have been filed 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 phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Albertville AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college 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 together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Albertville AL health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Albertville AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Albertville Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Albertville Alabama.