Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Pick the Right One Near Dothan Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Dothan AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. More often than not the two requirements that first come to mind for prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. And if you will commute to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. Online classes will be covered in more detail a bit later. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot 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 should also be included in your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Dothan AL medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Dothan AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the main certifying organizations 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, 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 supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component 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 completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Dothan AL students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain 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 comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, 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 certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Dothan AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working 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 fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Dothan AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Dothan AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see 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 full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Dothan AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Dothan AL health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Dothan AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Dothan Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Dothan Alabama.