Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Anniston Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near Anniston AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training options available to you and it may seem like a daunting undertaking to research and analyze each one. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you will get a quality education you must perform a detailed audit prior to making your decision. More often than not the two qualifications that initially come to mind for student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Whether you will drive to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be included in your due diligence process. 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 choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Anniston AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Anniston AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, 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 furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical 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 component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Anniston AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Anniston AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, 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 premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Anniston AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Anniston AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested 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 filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy 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 lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Anniston AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Anniston AL health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Anniston AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Anniston Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Anniston Alabama.