How to Choose the Best One Near East Florence Alabama
A critical first step one must take to enter the fulfilling medical vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy training near East Florence AL. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you will get a quality education you must perform your due diligence before making your decision. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation 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 need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover education options, licensing and certification, and online schools.
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Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a general 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, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many East Florence AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many East Florence AL students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant 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 procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, 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. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the East Florence AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of 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 check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several East Florence AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local East Florence AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs 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 positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the East Florence AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near East Florence AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure 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 emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best East Florence Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in East Florence Alabama.