Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Pick the Best One Near Gadsden Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Gadsden AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. There are a number of training options available to you and it may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each one. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. Online schools will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomist training courses, location and cost shouldn’t be the sole criteria you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be part of your due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Gadsden AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the key 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 phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Gadsden AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Gadsden AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws 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 clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification 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 readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Gadsden AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Gadsden AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Gadsden AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing 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 school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Gadsden AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gadsden AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Gadsden Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Gadsden Alabama.