Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Athens Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Athens AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However, to guarantee that you receive a top-notch education you must perform your due diligence before making your selection. In reality, many potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Whether you will drive to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must 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 reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Athens AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies 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, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many Athens AL students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school 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 receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might 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 Athens AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, 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 organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Athens AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal 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 out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Athens AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Athens AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Athens AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Athens AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Athens Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy 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 contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Athens Alabama.