How to Pick the Right One Near Enterprise Alabama
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the fulfilling healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy school near Enterprise AL. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. More often than not the two requirements that initially come to mind for prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose 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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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Enterprise AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Enterprise AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key 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 Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Enterprise AL students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Enterprise AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Enterprise AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. 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 screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Enterprise AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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. 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 below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Enterprise AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school 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 crucial to verify that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Enterprise AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Enterprise Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Enterprise Alabama.