How to Find the Best One Near Dothan Alabama
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the rewarding medical vocation of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy training near Dothan AL. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, most potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be included in your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Dothan AL labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, many Dothan AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out 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-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for some Dothan AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium 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 best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become 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 previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Dothan AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality 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 previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available 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 Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Dothan AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Dothan AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Dothan AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings 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, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Dothan Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ slightly across the country as every 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 final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Dothan Alabama.