Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Birmingham Alabama
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the fulfilling healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy training near Birmingham AL. There are many training options available to you and it might seem like an intimidating undertaking to investigate and compare each one. However, to guarantee that you receive a top-notch education you must complete a detailed audit prior to making your selection. In fact, many potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. And if you will drive to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. We'll talk 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 locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection 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 right one for you. But before we do that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online classes.
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Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Birmingham AL employers require certification prior to hiring 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be clinical 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 may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Birmingham AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you 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 picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Birmingham AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Birmingham AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Birmingham AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out 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 full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Birmingham AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support 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 high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Birmingham AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Birmingham AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Birmingham Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Birmingham Alabama.