How to Find the Right One Near Florence Alabama
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the rewarding medical vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy school near Florence AL. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. Quite often the two qualifications that initially come to mind for student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Whether you will drive to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomist training courses, location and cost shouldn’t be the sole parameters you are looking at. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Florence AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Florence AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Florence AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Florence AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. 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 schools you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium 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 previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable 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 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 schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Florence AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, 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 considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added 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 Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Florence AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. 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 part-time, verify 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Florence Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Florence Alabama.