How to Pick the Right One Near Hartselle Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Hartselle AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. And if you will commute to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. Online schools will be discussed in more detail a bit later. So when comparing phlebotomy training courses, cost and location shouldn’t be the sole parameters you are looking at. Finding out 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 supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover education options, licensing and certification, and online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Hartselle AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few 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, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Hartselle AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 school is significant if you will be commuting from Hartselle AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Hartselle AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Hartselle AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Hartselle AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Hartselle AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Hartselle AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Hartselle Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Hartselle Alabama.