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Phlebotomy Schools
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Phlebotomist Classes
How to Find the Right One Near Fairhope Alabama 

Fairhope Alabama phlebotomist taking blood sample from patient's armPerhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the gratifying medical vocation of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy school near Fairhope AL. There are a number of training programs that are offered in your area and it may seem like a daunting task to research and compare each one. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. More often than not the two requirements that initially come to mind for prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. And if you will drive to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomist training courses, location and cost shouldn’t be the only criteria you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be part of your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.

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Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?

Fairhope Alabama phlebotomy technician holding two blood samplesFirst of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Fairhope AL medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings 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 could be the right profession for you.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification

Fairhope Alabama phlebotomist sorting blood samples in rack

There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Fairhope AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomist Schools

Fairhope Alabama female student attending phlebotomy training onlineFirst, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed 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 may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Fairhope AL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Fairhope AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final 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 prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Fairhope AL job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Fairhope 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 ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Ample Training Included? 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Fairhope AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent 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 important to verify that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Fairhope AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend 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 in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Learn More About Becoming a Phlebotomist in Fairhope

Enroll in the Right Fairhope Phlebotomist Training Program

Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Fairhope Alabama.





 

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