How to Enroll in the Best One Near Dothan Alabama
A critical first step you must take to enter the gratifying medical profession of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy school near Dothan AL. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. Online courses will be covered in greater detail a bit later. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover education options, licensing and certification, and online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Dothan AL employers require certification before 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, 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 offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Dothan AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Dothan AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in 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 program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Dothan AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Dothan AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out 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 (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Dothan AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Dothan AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Dothan AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Dothan Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential 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 superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Dothan Alabama.