How to Find the Right One Near Gardendale Alabama
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the rewarding healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy training near Gardendale AL. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Gardendale AL medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings 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 could be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Gardendale AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To start with, 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 carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Gardendale AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend 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 Gardendale AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Gardendale AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of 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 imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Gardendale AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Gardendale AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Gardendale AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Gardendale AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Gardendale Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Gardendale Alabama.