Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Choose the Right One Near Gardendale Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Gardendale AL is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However, to guarantee that you receive a quality education you must perform your due diligence before making your selection. More often than not the two requirements that initially come to mind for prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be included in your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Gardendale AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Gardendale AL employers look for certification before employing 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, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality 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 mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum 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 completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Gardendale AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Gardendale AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Gardendale AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. 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 internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Gardendale AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. 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 colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Gardendale AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide 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 school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Gardendale AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Gardendale AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Gardendale Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program prior to making your final 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 phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Gardendale Alabama.