Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Pick the Right One Near Florence Alabama
An important first step you must take to enter the gratifying medical profession of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy training near Florence AL. There are numerous training options that are offered in your area and it might seem like an intimidating undertaking to investigate and compare each one. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, most prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Whether you will commute to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should 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 evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Florence AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Florence AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the key 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Florence AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 campus is significant if you will be commuting from Florence AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns 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 Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required 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, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Florence AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Florence AL hospitals or clinics 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 full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Florence AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage 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 as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Florence AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Florence AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Florence Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking 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 appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Florence Alabama.