How to Choose the Right One Near East Florence Alabama
A critical first step you must take to enter the rewarding healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy training near East Florence AL. There are a number of training options available to you and it can seem like an intimidating task to research and compare each one. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. More often than not the two qualifications that initially are considered by prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Whether you will drive to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. Online schools will be covered in more detail a bit later. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing 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 due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in East Florence AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means 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 to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of East Florence AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many East Florence AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium 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 option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
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 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 important if you will be commuting from East Florence AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the East Florence AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few East Florence AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length 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 (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local East Florence AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning 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 East Florence AL medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near East Florence AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain 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 because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best East Florence Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each school before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in East Florence Alabama.