How to Find the Right One Near East Florence Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near East Florence AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However, to ensure that you will get a quality education you must complete your due diligence prior to making your selection. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into 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 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. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including East Florence AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, a number of East Florence AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out 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 component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some East Florence AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from East Florence AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the East Florence AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some East Florence AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask 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 Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local East Florence AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the East Florence AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near East Florence AL, make certain they are offered 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 attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best East Florence Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in East Florence Alabama.