How to Choose the Best One Near Enterprise Alabama
A critical first step one must take to enter the rewarding medical vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy school near Enterprise AL. There are many training programs available to you and it may seem like an intimidating task to research and analyze each one. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you receive a quality education you must perform a detailed audit before making your selection. In fact, a large number of potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Whether you will commute to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. Online classes will be covered in greater detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomist training courses, location and cost must not be the only parameters you are looking at. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Enterprise AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Enterprise AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Enterprise AL students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality 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.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Enterprise AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick 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 program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Enterprise AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin 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 agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Enterprise AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with 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 considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Enterprise AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer 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 college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Enterprise AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Enterprise AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even 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 in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Enterprise Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Enterprise Alabama.