How to Pick the Right One Near Foley Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Foley AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training options that are offered in your area and it might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each one. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. Online schools will be covered in more detail a bit later. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, 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 best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online training.
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Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers 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 incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Foley AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted 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 could be a more convenient option for some Foley AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Foley AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Foley AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Foley AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Foley AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Foley AL health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Foley AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Foley Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Foley Alabama.