Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Find the Best One Near Athens Alabama
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the gratifying medical vocation of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy school near Athens AL. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a quality education you must complete your due diligence prior to making your decision. In reality, a large number of prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. So when comparing phlebotomist training programs, cost and location shouldn’t be the sole parameters you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be included in your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Athens AL medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Athens AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. 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 performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Athens AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality 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 right option for you.
Subjects 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 may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Athens AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Athens AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Athens 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 contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering 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 expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Athens AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering 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 program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Athens AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Athens AL, make sure 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 as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Athens Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Athens Alabama.