How to Choose the Right One Near East Florence Alabama
A critical first step you must take to enter the rewarding medical profession of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy school near East Florence AL. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a first-rate education you must perform a detailed audit prior to making your selection. Quite often the two qualifications that initially are considered by prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. Online courses will be covered in more detail a bit later. What you need to remember 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 must also be part of your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will supply 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 prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as East Florence AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, most East Florence AL employers look for 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many East Florence AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from East Florence AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the East Florence AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few East Florence AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing 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 Ample Training Included? To begin with, contact 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 phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing 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 additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local East Florence AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the East Florence AL health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near East Florence AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right East Florence Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of 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, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in East Florence Alabama.