Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Pick the Best One Near Athens Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Athens AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you will get a top-notch education you must complete a detailed audit prior to making your decision. Quite often the two qualifications that initially come to mind for prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Whether 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 assessing phlebotomy training courses, location and cost shouldn’t be the only parameters you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be part of your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick 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 classes.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Athens AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, 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 Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Athens AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key certifying agencies 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Athens AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Athens AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Athens AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Athens AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount 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 clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Athens AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Athens AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Athens AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Athens Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Athens Alabama.