How to Find the Right One Near Florence Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Florence AL is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. There are many training programs available to you and it might seem like an intimidating undertaking to investigate and analyze each one. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. Quite often the two qualifications that first are considered by prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomist training programs, location and cost shouldn’t be the sole parameters you are looking at. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Florence AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers 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 to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Florence AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some Florence AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes 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 phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Florence AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. 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 fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Florence AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Florence AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy 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 below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Florence AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Florence AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Florence AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Florence Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Florence Alabama.