Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Find the Right One Near Alexander City Alabama
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the gratifying medical profession of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy training near Alexander City AL. There are numerous training programs available to you and it might seem like a daunting task to research and compare each one. However, to guarantee that you receive a quality education you must perform a detailed audit before making your decision. In reality, a large number of students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Whether you will commute to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. So when evaluating phlebotomist training courses, location and cost shouldn’t be the only parameters you are looking at. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should 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 classes.
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Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Alexander City AL medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with 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 phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Alexander City AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for some Alexander City AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select 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 premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Alexander City AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online 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. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very 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 exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Alexander City AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Alexander City AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total 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 amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 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? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Alexander City AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Alexander City AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Alexander City AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Alexander City Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Alexander City Alabama.