Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Choose the Best One Near Enterprise Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Enterprise AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training programs available to you and it may seem like an intimidating task to investigate and analyze each one. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, many students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. Online classes will be covered in more detail a bit later. So when assessing phlebotomy training programs, location and cost shouldn’t be the only parameters you are looking at. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection 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 evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Enterprise AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Enterprise 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted 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 portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Enterprise AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now 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 picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Enterprise AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Enterprise AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Enterprise AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Enterprise AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate 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 an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Enterprise AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Enterprise AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Enterprise Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Enterprise Alabama.