How to Find the Best One Near Gadsden Alabama
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the rewarding medical vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy school near Gadsden AL. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However, to guarantee that you receive a quality education you must perform your due diligence prior to making your decision. In fact, a large number of students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomist training courses, cost and location shouldn’t be the only criteria you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance 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 assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Gadsden AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Gadsden AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Gadsden AL students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Gadsden AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take 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 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 Gadsden AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many 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 any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Gadsden AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Gadsden AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at 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 program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Gadsden AL health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gadsden AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Gadsden Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Gadsden Alabama.