Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Alexander City Alabama
A critical first step you must take to enter the rewarding healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy training near Alexander City AL. There are a number of training options that are offered in your area and it might seem like a daunting task to research and compare each one. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. And if you will commute to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be included in your due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Alexander City AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Alexander City AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations 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 phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion 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. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many Alexander City AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Alexander City AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Alexander City AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Alexander City AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer 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 total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out 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 provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Alexander City AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Alexander City AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alexander City AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Alexander City Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Alexander City Alabama.