Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Pick the Right One Near Gadsden Alabama
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the fulfilling healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy training near Gadsden AL. There are many training options available to you and it can seem like a daunting undertaking to research and compare each one. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. More often than not the two qualifications that first are considered by prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Whether you will drive to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. Online classes will be covered in more detail a bit later. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be part of your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Gadsden AL medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Gadsden AL employers look for certification before employing 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Gadsden AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in 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 superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Gadsden AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable 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 school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered 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 colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Gadsden AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Gadsden AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working 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 clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Gadsden AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing 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 school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Gadsden AL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Gadsden AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Gadsden Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Gadsden Alabama.