How to Find the Best One Near Fort Payne Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Fort Payne AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training programs that are offered in your area and it may seem like a daunting undertaking to research and compare each one. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, most potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Whether you will drive to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. Online schools will be covered in greater detail a bit later. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be part of your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short definition 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 nervous in hospitals or other Fort Payne AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method 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 to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Fort Payne AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the main 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Fort Payne AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Fort Payne AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Fort Payne AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some Fort Payne AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Fort Payne AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Fort Payne AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Fort Payne AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Fort Payne Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fort Payne Alabama.