Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Find the Right One Near Florence Alabama
An important first step you must take to enter the rewarding healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy training near Florence AL. There are a number of training programs available to you and it can seem like an intimidating undertaking to research and compare each one. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. More often than not the two qualifications that initially are considered by student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. Online schools will be covered in greater detail a bit later. So when assessing phlebotomist training courses, cost and location must not be the sole criteria you are looking at. 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 supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Florence AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Florence AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Florence AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 college is important if you will be commuting from Florence AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing 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 should ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy 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 many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Florence AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several Florence AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints 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 find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Florence AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Florence AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Florence AL, check that 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. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Florence Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Florence Alabama.