Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Find the Best One Near Gadsden Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomy school near Gadsden AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. There are a number of training programs that are offered in your area and it might seem like an intimidating undertaking to research and compare each one. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you will get a quality education you must complete a detailed audit prior to making your decision. In fact, most students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. And if you will drive to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be included in your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Gadsden AL laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Gadsden AL employers look for certification prior to 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion 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. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Gadsden AL students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Gadsden AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example 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 premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Gadsden AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Gadsden AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training often 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 also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Gadsden AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Gadsden AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. 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 in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Gadsden Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Gadsden Alabama.