Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Fairhope Alabama
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the rewarding medical profession of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy school near Fairhope AL. There are many training programs that are offered in your area and it can seem like an intimidating undertaking to research and compare each one. However, to ensure that you will get a top-notch education you must perform a detailed audit before making your decision. In reality, most prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. Online courses will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be included in your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Fairhope AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Fairhope AL employers require certification prior to employing 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed 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. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for many Fairhope AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose 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 method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Fairhope AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Fairhope AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact several Fairhope AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 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 expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Fairhope AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Fairhope AL health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Fairhope AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Fairhope Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fairhope Alabama.