How to Enroll in the Right One Near Foley Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Foley AL is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. There are a number of training programs that are offered in your area and it may seem like an intimidating undertaking to research and compare each one. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a first-rate education you must perform your due diligence before making your decision. Quite often the two qualifications that first come to mind for student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be included in your due diligence process. 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 select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Foley AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and 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.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible 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 be certified. While not mandated in most states, many Foley AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Foley AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you select 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 superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Foley AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits 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 take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Foley AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with several Foley AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Foley AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Foley AL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Foley AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Foley Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Foley Alabama.