How to Enroll in the Right One Near Alexander City Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Alexander City AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. There are a number of training programs available to you and it can seem like a daunting task to research and compare each one. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. More often than not the two qualifications that initially are considered by student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Whether you will drive to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. So when comparing phlebotomy training courses, location and cost shouldn’t be the sole criteria you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be included in your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Alexander City AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Alexander City AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations 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, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Alexander City AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Alexander City AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Alexander City 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 along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact several Alexander City AL hospitals or clinics that you might 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 find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Alexander City AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher 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 substantial network of professional contacts within the Alexander City AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alexander City AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, 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 certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Alexander City Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Alexander City Alabama.