How to Find the Best One Near Bessemer Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Bessemer AL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating 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 training.
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Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Bessemer AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly 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 setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Bessemer AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Bessemer AL students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Bessemer AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing 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 readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized 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 aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Bessemer AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Bessemer AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact 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 looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Bessemer AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying 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 Bessemer AL medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bessemer AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Bessemer Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bessemer Alabama.