How to Find the Best One Near East Florence Alabama
An important first step you must take to enter the rewarding medical vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy school near East Florence AL. There are a number of training options available to you and it can seem like an intimidating undertaking to research and analyze each one. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, most potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. And if you will commute to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. So when comparing phlebotomist training programs, cost and location shouldn’t be the sole criteria you are looking at. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other East Florence AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of East Florence AL employers require 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some East Florence AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. 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 online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need 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 working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose 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 advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the East Florence AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few East Florence AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local East Florence AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the East Florence AL medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near East Florence AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right East Florence Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in East Florence Alabama.