How to Choose the Best One Near Decatur Alabama
An important first step you must take to enter the gratifying healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy training near Decatur AL. There are many training programs available to you and it may seem like an intimidating undertaking to research and compare each one. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another 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 classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be included in your due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Decatur AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education as well as 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Decatur AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Decatur AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Decatur AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with 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 phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Decatur AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of 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 important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. 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 also. You can even contact some Decatur AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As 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 provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Decatur AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Decatur AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Decatur AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Decatur Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. 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 variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Decatur Alabama.