How to Find the Best One Near Fort Payne Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Fort Payne AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. There are a number of training programs that are offered in your area and it can seem like an intimidating undertaking to investigate and compare each one. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. More often than not the two qualifications that initially are considered by prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Fort Payne AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type 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 mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Fort Payne AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Fort Payne AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Fort Payne AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing 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 should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification 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 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 recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as 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. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Fort Payne AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Fort Payne AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. 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 colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample 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 length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Fort Payne AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Fort Payne AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fort Payne AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Fort Payne Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Fort Payne Alabama.