How to Choose the Best One Near Center Point Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Center Point AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. Quite often the two requirements that initially are considered by prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. And if you will drive to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomy training courses, location and cost must not be the only criteria you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be part of your due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Center Point AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Center Point AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Center Point AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Center Point AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Center Point AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Center Point AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Center Point AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Center Point AL medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Center Point AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Center Point Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Center Point Alabama.