How to Pick the Best One Near Dothan Alabama
An important first step one must take to enter the gratifying medical profession of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy training near Dothan AL. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Whether you will commute to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. Online schools will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomy training programs, location and cost shouldn’t be the only parameters you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be included in your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover education options, licensing and certification, and online schools.
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Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Dothan AL employers look for 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one potential 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 performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Dothan AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
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 might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Dothan AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, 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 quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Dothan AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many 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 essential to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. 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 screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Dothan AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient 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 considering 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 signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Dothan AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Dothan AL health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Dothan AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. 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 ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Dothan Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Dothan Alabama.