Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Pick the Best One Near Albertville Alabama
An important first step one must take to enter the rewarding healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy training near Albertville AL. There are numerous training options available to you and it may seem like an intimidating task to research and analyze each one. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. More often than not the two requirements that first come to mind for prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. Online classes will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomist training courses, cost and location must not be the only parameters you are looking at. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish 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 cover education options, licensing and certification, and online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Albertville AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Albertville AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Albertville AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Albertville AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check 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 assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Albertville AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Albertville AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Albertville AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Albertville AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even 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 in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Albertville Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Albertville Alabama.