How to Choose the Right One Near Anniston Alabama
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the gratifying medical vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy school near Anniston AL. There are many training options available to you and it can seem like a daunting task to research and compare each one. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. And if you will drive to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. Online courses will be discussed in more detail a bit later. So when comparing phlebotomist training courses, location and cost shouldn’t be the only parameters you are looking at. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to 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 pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online classes.
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Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate 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 provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, a number of Anniston AL employers look for certification prior to 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Anniston AL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. 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 receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Anniston AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Anniston AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Anniston AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Anniston AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy 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 rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Anniston AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Anniston AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Anniston Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Anniston Alabama.