How to Enroll in the Best One Near Dothan Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Dothan AL is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. There are many training programs available to you and it may seem like an intimidating task to investigate and analyze each one. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a quality education you must complete your due diligence prior to making your decision. In fact, most students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. So when evaluating phlebotomy training courses, location and cost must not 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. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Dothan AL medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and 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 may be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Dothan AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Dothan AL students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Dothan AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, 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 working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of 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 administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Dothan AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Dothan AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, 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 phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Dothan AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Dothan AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Dothan AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even 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 should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Dothan Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each school before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Dothan Alabama.