Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Alexander City Alabama
A critical first step you must take to enter the fulfilling healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy training near Alexander City AL. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, most prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should 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 evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online schools.
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Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Alexander City AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for some Alexander City AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Alexander City AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. 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 School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Alexander City AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 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 Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Alexander City AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Alexander City AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alexander City AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Alexander City Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Alexander City Alabama.