How to Enroll in the Best One Near Gardendale Alabama
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the fulfilling healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy training near Gardendale AL. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you receive a first-rate education you must complete a detailed audit prior to making your selection. In reality, many prospective students begin the process 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 an option you need to consider as well. Online courses will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomy training programs, cost and location shouldn’t be the only criteria you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be included in your due diligence 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 select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover education options, licensing and certification, and online schools.
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Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with 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 specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Gardendale AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several 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 choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain 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 on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Gardendale AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Gardendale AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Gardendale AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Gardendale AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 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 comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Gardendale AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage 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 along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Gardendale AL health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gardendale AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Gardendale Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Gardendale Alabama.