How to Pick the Best One Near Auburn Alabama
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the rewarding medical profession of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy school near Auburn AL. There are a number of training options available to you and it may seem like a daunting task to research and analyze each one. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. More often than not the two requirements that initially are considered by prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Whether you will commute to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. Online classes will be discussed in more detail a bit later. So when comparing phlebotomy training courses, cost and location must not be the sole criteria you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be part of your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Auburn AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around anxious 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 even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education as well as 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Auburn AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
First, let's dispel one possible 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 performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for some Auburn AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 college is important if you will be commuting from Auburn AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very 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 have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Auburn AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Auburn AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. 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 colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Auburn AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school 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 as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Auburn AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Auburn AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Auburn Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Auburn Alabama.