How to Enroll in the Best One Near Auburn Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Auburn AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training options available to you and it may seem like an intimidating task to investigate and analyze each one. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you receive a first-rate education you must complete a detailed audit before making your decision. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. Online classes will be covered in greater detail a bit later. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. 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 ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Auburn AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types 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 method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Auburn AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as 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 offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Auburn AL students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Auburn AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Auburn AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Auburn AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Auburn AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Auburn AL health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Auburn AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Auburn Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Auburn Alabama.